NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist militant group said on Tuesday its militants were still holding out in a Kenyan shopping centre they attacked over the weekend, and said hostages they held in the Westgate mall in Nairobi were still alive.

"There are countless number of dead bodies still scattered inside the mall, and the Mujahideen (fighters) are still holding their ground #Westgate," the group said on its new Twitter feed @HSM_PR. "The hostages who were being held by the Mujahideen inside #Westgate are still alive, looking quite disconcerted but, nevertheless, alive."

The group regularly changes its Twitter handle as its accounts are frequently suspended, but it informs journalists and others of the change by email or other means.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; editing by Mike Collett-White)